Human Rights Situation in April 2022
- The war in Ukraine and its consequences have dramatically changed the current agenda in Europe and the rest of the world.
- The Human Rights Center Viasna (Viasna - hereinafter) strongly condemns the actions of Belarusian and Russian authorities that undermine the principles of peaceful coexistence of peoples, violate the Constitution and laws of Belarus, and international treaties.
- Reckless actions of the Belarusian authorities that contradict public and state interests have put the country side-by-side with the aggressor. As before, such a policy is causing backlash and resistance from those citizens who abide by democratic values.
- During April 2022, the Belarusian authorities kept actively prosecuting citizens on political grounds, including for anti-war protests as detentions of peaceful protesters continue together with arbitrary detentions for displaying white-red-white symbols, including in private homes and areas. In April, Viasna documented six fines and 17 instances of administrative detention sentenced by courts against protesters.
- 1,166 political prisoners were held in places of detention as of late April, the number continues to grow steadily.
- Members of Viasna continue to be held in pre-trial detention on arbitrary charges: Chairman Mr. Ales Bialiatski; Member of the Board, and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights Mr. Valiantsin Stefanovich; lawyer and coordinator of the Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections campaign Mr. Uladzimir Labkovich; coordinator of Viasna’s volunteer network Ms. Marfa Rabkova and volunteer Mr. Andrei Chapiuk whose trial has commenced. A Viasna member and the head of Center for Strategic Litigation Mr. Leanid Sudalenka who was sentenced to three years of imprisonment, and a volunteer at Viasna Ms. Tatsiana Lasitsa who was sentenced to two years and six months - are in penal colonies.
- Human rights defenders and journalists continue to report numerous cases of ill-treatment of politically imprisoned citizens, and those detained and administratively arrested for participating in peaceful assemblies. Viasna experts consider the inhumane conditions that have been deliberately created for political detainees by administrations of pre-trial prisons and other facilities as torture.
- Torture and other ways of ill-treatment continue to be used during investigations of politically motivated criminal cases.